Berlin, Aug 8 (IANS): Germany's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) will on Mondau announce a decision on the possible expulsion of disgraced former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder from the party over his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An arbitration committee in the northern city of Hanover has been considering the decision for several weeks after 17 motions for expulsion were received from different chapters of the party, reports dpa news agency.
Schroder himself did not appear at hearings and did not send a lawyer.
The decision of the arbitration committee can be appealed within two weeks.
The former Chancellor, who was in office between 1998 and 2005, has been criticized for years for his involvement with Russian state-owned companies and is considered a close personal friend of Putin.
The pressure on Schroder to distance himself from Putin increased after the invasion of Ukraine.
In May, he finally announced that he would leave the supervisory board of the Russian energy giant Rosneft.
He also turned down a nomination for a supervisory board position at Gazprom.
But in a recent interview with private broadcaster RTL/ntv, Schroder once again refused to distance himself from Putin.
He also advocated putting the controversial Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline, which was put on hold in light on the Russian invasion, into operation.